If you think a recession is a bad time to start a business, think again. Online businesses, handled correctly, can be your ticket to not merely surviving tough times but thriving in tough times. They can actually provide more income than a regular 9 to 5 job.Think about it. Now more than ever, people and companies are more conscious of their spending habits and are turning to the internet to save cash and get value for their hard earned money. This doesn’t mean that any online business will make you rich. You’ll still need to learn how to set yourself apart from the competition and figure out ways to streamline your operations just like any other business.Online businesses normally don’t need as much start up capital compared to a traditional brick-and-mortar business but they usually require a steep learning curve. There are no shortcuts, and like any business, certain skills are required to make it worth your time.Before you decide to delve in to this avenue of business, consider how much time you can devote to your business. A half hearted attempt at being an online entrepreneur will get you nowhere. Also consider what type of business suits you best. Your personality and skill set are great ways to assess which internet endeavor will work wonders for your wallet.Eventually, you’ll have to decide which online business is best for you and, for most people that usually means deciding which business will generate the most income.Now let’s take a quick look at some of the top online business opportunities that await you online…Blogging -A blog (short for web log) is a website maintained by an individual with content (text, pictures, art, videos, music, podcasts, and so on). Consider it your particular take on anything and everything. Be warned, the internet is already supersaturated with blogs, so if you’re thinking of adding another, try to construct a business blog that attracts interested advertisers. A well constructed, well written, popular blog can attract advertisers or can become part of an affiliate marketing network.Affiliate Marketing -Basically, affiliate marketing is a marketing technique where revenue sharing occurs between advertisers/merchants and online publishers (you). Choose a search engine optimization friendly domain name and create a website around it. Add content, drive traffic to it, and look for merchants with affiliate programs, or try joining an affiliate marketing network that will link your site to related merchant sites. Create more websites. This is probably the most labor-intensive and technical online business opportunity out there, but there’s considerable income for those with the technical skills to make it worth their efforts.Online Auction / E-commerce-One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, especially in the online marketplace. You might begin by auctioning personal items online from your attic or garage. When you’ve run out of these items you may want to sell merchandise that you have obtained cheaply from local sources, for example, to interested buyers from around the world. You could also manufacture your own uniquely marketable items like handcrafted jewelry and other arts and crafts. Then again, be sure you stand out from the crowd because, as many people have discovered, there are a LOT of people selling the same type of products and merchandise online.VA (Virtual Assistant) – As more companies downsize, support services begin to shift from the real world to the virtual world. Providing administrative and business support to other business owners might not make you rich but it might be worth doing if you’re underemployed or a stay at home parent.Freelance Services-Provide professional services such as copywriting, web design, photography and illustration. These jobs are truly skill based. Therefore, learn and exceed in the necessary skills to attract and maintain your client base. An impressive portfolio will take you much farther than an impressive resume in this line of online businesses. So be sure to make your published work speak volumes about your skills. This online business requires a considerable amount of talent and knowledge to make it feasible as a significant source of income.Financial Solutions Marketing and Training -Of all the online business opportunities available, the most lucrative and most rewarding appears to be that involved with internet marketing and financial education. This business allows one to make a substantial amount of money, as well as to teach other people how to make money. You see, helping other people achieve their fondest dreams of obtaining a wealthy lifestyle is a truly rewarding experience in more ways than one. You too can learn to create wealth with the right mindset, the proper tools and a fair amount of initiative.